Friday, August 25, 2017

The Guardians (2017) Movie Review

It was bound to happen. With all these superhero movies someone in another country was going to create one of their own. In this case: Russia. 

Friends of mine and I were privy to a screening of The Guardians, a Russian science-fiction film that is clearly a rip-off of Marvel's The Avengers. Released theatrically in February, the action flick with a $5 million budget turned out to be more impressive than some of the $100 million Hollywood blockbusters produced today. During the cold war, an organization called "Patriot" created a super-hero squad, which included members of multiple soviet republics. For years these heroes had to hide their identities but when a powerful super-human threatened world domination, they joined forces to combat the threat. The Guardians met with strongly negative critical reception in Russian media but I suspect the movie may receive better reviews here in the United States. Fan boys of superhero movies will delight in the creativity of the battle sequences and top-notch special effects. Regardless of what the critics say, a sequel has been commissioned by Turbo Films, as a co-production company for the next picture.

When I watch a movie I usually ask for one of two things. Entertain me or impress me. The Guardians was entertaining and many times I was impressed. This is saying a lot compared to the junk Hollywood routinely puts out every year.

Sure, there were plot holes. How does the wolf man regain his pants after he transforms back into human form? Really, where did the pants come from? Suspension of disbelief was applied multiple times and one couldn't wonder if Yogi Bear went on a rampage when the wolf man started using a gatling gun... give that bear a picnic basket, for pete's sake!

Apparently there are two versions of this movie floating about in collector hands. One with English subtitles but the syntax with computer translation calls for a few unintentionally funny moments. The other is English dubbed. My review copy contained subtitles simply because I prefer subtitles with any foreign film. Each to their own.

You can watch the movie trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIc0NqjOPgc

The movie gets released officially on DVD in September. You can probably watch it on Amazon Prime or rent the disc from Netflix or Redbox. Everyone I know who watched the film is split: half love it and the other half shake their heads. You may not have heard of this movie until today but mark my words: I predict The Guardians to become a franchise that will steadily grow in the coming years with multiple sequels. Give this one a try and let me know what you think.


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1 comment:

Professor MaryAnn said...

Watched it a few days ago, fun movie! No, it is not on the same level as Hollywood superhero movies with 100x the budget, but for the budget and given that this is the first Russian superhero movie with original story and characters (unlike the Marvel and DC films, which have vast archives of characters, stories, and an existing fan base to mine), I think they did a great job. The plot and characters may seem kind of derivative, but now that superhero entertainment has gone mainstream, it is really tough for anyone to come up with completely new and different ideas. I'd say that it was an interesting spin on familiar concepts, and I look forward to the next film. Watching this film, I realized how annoying a lot of the characters in those big budget superhero movies are, as well as how some interesting side characters are wasted. Guardians had good focus on the core group of characters, without spending too much time on any one character, and the minimal use of smart-alecky, excessively quippy dialog was refreshing.

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